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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Vegetable Momos / Dumplings - Nepalese Cuisine

Vegetable Momos / Dumplings - Nepalese Cuisine

Momos are traditional delicacies of  Nepal. They are  also one of the most popular fast foods in many North Eastern states of India. Momos are dumplings with spoon full of meat or vegetable fillings wrapped in a dough ,  accompanied by spicy dipping sauce. Momos are usually steamed , though they are sometimes, fried or steam fried too.

In Nepal the traditional Momo are prepared with ground meat fillings but now a days they are prepared by combination of ground meat, vegetables ,Tofu , Cheese..I have made the vegetarian version of Momos with Cabbage, Carrots and Onions and steamed them using a  Rice cooker. Freshly steamed Momos taste best served piping hot straight from the steamers arranged pleated side up on a plate with some spicy dipping sauce.
Source : Taste of Nepal

Ingredients for Momo filling:
  • Finely shredded cabbage- 1cup
  • Grated Carrot - 1 cup
  • Finely chopped Onions-1 cup
  • Ginger paste-1/2 tsp
  • Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Green chili paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper powder -1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  • oil 2 tsp
  • Salt 
Ingredients for Momo wrappers:
  • All purpose white flour or maida- 3/4 cup plus extra for kneading
  • pinch of salt.
Method : 
  1. Dough for Momo wrappers : In a bowl combine flour and salt , make a well in the center and add room temperature water, a little at a time and mix it well with fingers to get the flour together to a crumbled mass. Now transfer the dough to a floored surface and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic for 3-5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl cover it with damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.

  2.    While the dough is resting , we can prepare the momo filling. At first squeeze out all the water from the shredded veggies. In a pan heat 2 tsp oil , add ginger paste, garlic paste, saute it well till the raw smell goes off, now add turmeric powder, chopped onions green chili paste and saute. Now add Cabbage and Carrots, salt, pepper and cook till the mixture becomes dry. The filling mixture should not be watery as it will be difficult to seal the dough wrappers. let the filling cool down .

  3.    Rolling out Momo wrappers:  pinch out small portion of dough and roll it out as thin as possible using a rolling pin . Try to keep the center of wrapping little thicker than the edges, this will ensure ease in sealing the momos and at the same time provide support to hold the juices secreted during steaming of momos.

 4. Now comes the very crucial, difficult and most beautiful part while making Momos.. filling and sealing the Momos ! Hold the wrapper in one hand, place the filling in the center using a small spoon, use other hand to gather the edges and seal the stuffing inside by squeezing the edges tightly making small pleats to securely seal in the fillings. Pleats make the Momos look beautiful. There are many ways of sealing the Momos and thus can be made into desired shapes. Take care not to add more filling as it will leak and also there will be no space for juice, which accumulate during steaming. Keep the filled Momos and unfilled momo wrappers covered with a damp kitchen cloth during working to avoid drying of the Momos.

   5.  Getting Momos to steam. -  Grease the colander with little oil or keep a muslin cloth on the collander and place the momos together (but not touching each other) with pleated side up. Now fill the rice cooker or any steamer with 3-4 inch of water . Place the momo tray in the steamer . Cover tightly to prevent steam from escaping. Steam until dumplings are translucent and juicy. It took 10-12 minutes in my Rice cooker . Do not overcook or the Momos will dry up leaving the filling tasteless. 

 6.  Serve the Momos piping hot directly from steamer onto a plate with hot and spicy tomato and chili dip !

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